Mom's Road Trip Vacation with Multiples Recipe:

1. Leave plans open, and I am talking about 'when we'll be there, what time we'll leave, activities we'll take part in'. Multiple moms tend to schedule and prepare, IGNORE THAT URGE! (to an extent; read on...)

2. Okay, prepare a bit: videos for the car, extra batteries for remotes and headphones, NEW coloring and activity books, sunglasses, favorite blankies and bears, extra shoes, and yummy snacks.

3. Be ready to stop at every rest area, and a few spots in between.

4.Be prepared: not PLANNED, but prepared... have band-aids, sunblock, towels, wipes; Remember: two 6 year olds can make quite a mess, even when strapped into their carseats. And, when the big kids show up to join you on vacation: DOUBLE EVERYTHING and be ready to chase everyone!

5.Remember to step back and enjoy watching the kids. It is such a blessing to remember to slow down and see things through their eyes...

No, really, we had a BLAST on vacation. 2400 miles on the van in just over a week. A few days in a hotel, a little bit of camping (am I too old to sleep on the ground?) and a night or two inside the van... I got my share of driving time in (we all know I love that) the kids got to go to Scheels, the best store the kids have seen since Toys R Us in New York City! Scheels also has a ferris wheel inside the store as well as two HUGE fish tanks, and a TON of other cool things to check out! Matt and Levi got to ride an almost-regulation sized Nascar which is actually a video game you ride in, and when you crash it makes you feel the crash, etc., they had a blast!!
From there you can see the waterpark that we went to. It was my first time at a waterpark as well as Levi and Vivian's. We had such a great time! Looking back I am so glad we went there on a weekday; we had plenty of room, very short lines, and an all-around good experience. Levi and Vivian both were a little skiddish at first, but they warmed up to the kids' area quickly and began to slide down the waterslides adn play in with all the splashing kids.
Megan and I (with Levi and Vivian, of course) checked out Reno, and Circus Circus and some other sights in Reno. We traveled outside of town to check out The Sierra Safari Zoo. We try to visit a zoo everywhere that we go; that started out with the long stay in Cincinnati Ohio for Vivian's LTP surgery (when her trachea was rebuilt). The babies and I spent a lot of time in and around Cincinnati Children's Hospital and the Cincinnati Zoo was just down the street. The three of us so enjoyed our stroller walks through that zoo, and it became our tradition every time we go out of town. The Sierra Safari Zoo, though, kind of made me sad. It's in the desert (of course) and the animals have minimal shelter from the heat.  The animals were all healthy and well cared for; in fact, I'm sure they are more accustomed to the heat and it bothered them way less than my perception. It's a non-profit animal rescue center, and I do admire that, and if you want to help them out, you can click on the link above to donate to help them care for the animals.
We got to spend a lot of time with Gramma and Grampa Wight, which was the main reason for the trip. I wish they lived closer like they did when Matt and Megan were growing up. I understand why they can't, and I really don't begrudge them their decision, but Levi and Vivian could benefit so much from a closer relationship with them. We do video chats with Grampa when we can, though, and that way the kids get to share things with them; I love that we live in a time where we have electronic options like that! One day, when I followed Matt and Megan into Reno to stop in in-n-out burger (my favorite west-coast burger joint) Vivian wanted to stay with Gramma and Grampa. When I got back, Gramma commented on how much like Megan she is and that is so true, she's like a mini-megan! Gramma and Grampa have their trailer parked at uncle Carl's place in Fallon, so we got to spend time with him and his girlfriend as well, and Vivian's favorite: his little chihuahua, Nikki-Poo, nick-named "woof-woof". Vivian thought she was the cutest thing in this universe, and Carl's girlfriend, Mandy, painted woof-woof's nails pink, which tickled Vivian pink! LOL!
We also got to see my brother Jesse, whom I haven't seen in about 17 years, so it was Megan, Levi and Vivian's first time meeting him. It wasn't the first time meeting him for Matt, but when he saw him before he was too young to remember, so in a way it was.

And for me the highlight of the trip (besides getting to spend time with Dad) was the day trip to The Icthyosaur State Park. That is one of my favorite memories from trips with Dad when I was a kid. The park is at the sight of the Berlin ghost town, and old mining town, and as you drive through "town" you climb a little bit into the hills and come upon the sight were archaeologists found many Icthyosaur fossils. We missed the guided tour, where you get to go inside the building that was built around a well-preserved fossil, but the building is built so that even if you miss the tour, you can see the fossil well and read all of the information on it. Matt, Grampa and I got the walk around the old buildings and building sites and check things out, which I really enjoyed. I asked the kids on the way out of the park if they had enjoyed it, and even Matt said it was a great experience! Hopefully I helped them form a memory like the one that I have from that park when I was little.

It was a great vacation, and I was so happy and thankful to get to see Dad and Dorothy. In fact, when it was time to leave I cried all the way into Susanville. I miss having my Dad close so badly. Check out the photo book I made from the trip at Shutterfly. I've made other books at Kodak and other places, it's nice to have pictures in a book format so they can be looked at , and handled, without worrying about damage!

Dad - I made a book for you and Dorothy too, it'll be at your place pretty soon!


© erikalandon 2010


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